Fri, Dec 9, 2022

Using stretch heat transfer vinyl makes all types of promotional projects much more fun. But how can we make vinyl last longer? Here’s a detailed guide. 

A special type of vinyl polymer has found its way into some of the best designs on fabrics/garments for the past twenty years. Of course, we are talking about stretch heat transfer vinyl. Also known as HTV, this special vinyl polymer is used to create amazing, intricate designs on fabrics and garments.

Designers use heat transfer vinyl sheets to create decorative and promotional items. Hot ironing or heat pressing techniques are used to cut, weed, and place the apparel on top of sweatshirts, hoodies, t-shirts, handbags, etc. These sheets are available in different variations (3D, patterned, glitter, etc.) and are ideal for making cool crafts.

But, creating beautiful designs with stretch heat transfer vinyl comes with minor risks. The best-quality heat transfer vinyl sheets are extremely ‘stretch-able.’ However, their colors can still fade after repeated washes, or the vinyl may pick up a couple of eye-catching cracks after months of regular use. 

But, that doesn’t make heat transfer vinyl sheets unreliable. There are many ways users can make the vinyl materials outlive the garments themselves. Here’s how users can preserve their vinyl and prevent their decorative prints from getting wrinkled or cracked – 

Key Points to Consider 

  • The Make-Up of Stretch Heat Transfer Vinyl: This vinyl polymer is typically made of either Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) or Polyurethane (PU).
  • The Delivery of these Sheets:  Heat transfer vinyl sheets come in tight packages with plastic coverings. One side of these sheets features adhesive backings that activate when heat is applied. 
  • Typical Lifespan of Heat Transfer Vinyl: This material, much like other polymers, is extremely durable. As long as users know how to maintain its qualities, vinyl will last very long as it’s a strong material that doesn’t shrink after washing or lose its structural integrity upon exposure to heat or moisture.

People who use heat transfer vinyl sheets need to follow some basic maintenance tricks to preserve the vinyl and the adhesiveness of the vinyl on the garment/fabric. Here’s how users should ideally use these sheets – 

  • Printing Guidelines – Printing stretch heat transfer vinyl sheets is a relatively straightforward process. Post-printing, users must give their garments or fabrics a long period to settle. Two to three days of storage in cool and dry places will help the adhesives dry faster and create stronger bonds with the garment. After that, users must iron the garment once before trying it out or washing it. 
  • Washing Guidelines – Always turn the printed garments inside-out before sending them into the washing machine. Avoid soaking the garment as it may loosen the stretch heat transfer vinyl’s adhesive properties. The goal is to prevent the vinyl from peeling off. Once the vinyl starts peeling off from one corner, the rest of the print peels much faster. That’s why give the garment an extra layer of protection by turning it inside out. Also, introduce the garment to water just before washing. Use cold water to wash the printed fabrics.
  • Product Guidelines – Strong chemical-laden detergents react negatively with heat transfer vinyl sheets, so use mild detergents to wash printed items.

Using items with stretch heat transfer vinyl prints becomes much easier when you follow these basic guidelines!

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